One of the silently killer features of the digital domain is the ability to experiment. Mess around.
While you don’t need to be plugged in to play, access to simulations offer educators and learners powerful platforms to experiment in individual and group projects, testing theories, revising design, and rethinking problem-solving approaches.
And when you add gamification to the formula, suddenly progress can be tracked, success can be shared, and basic metacognitive functions can be practiced simply because everything is more visible, with badges and icons highlighting critical steps once thought to be unimportant. While this makes sense with video games like Skyrim and Call of Duty, it also works with processes that lack the widespread appeal of mainstream video games.
Missing Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is strangely absent in most K-12 curriculum, and even those within higher-ed if not in an economics or business-specific program. In a nation funded by Capitalism and free markets, this might explain the huge economic disparity between the have and have-nots in the United States. You either get the way money works, or you don’t.
If you don’t, the 21st century digital playground is offering more and more opportunity to understand. Enter Wall Street Survivor.
Wall Street Survivor & Bunchball
The game essentially allows you to participate in stock market transactions with imagined funds. In addition to the aforementioned gamification mechanics, there are also social dynamics as well–following other users to see how they invest, and how they are doing. (Modeling FTW!)
The beta release can be found here.